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Kyrene School District lifts mask mandate weeks after extending it

Last month, the Kyrene School District extended a mandatory face covering policy for students and staff at its pre-K through 8th grade schools.

The district originally planned to make masks optional when students returned from winter break in January but reversed course as the omicron variant caused a dramatic increase in community spread of COVID-19.

Now, just over a month later, Kyrene is making masks optional beginning Monday.

District officials now say case totals in the area, as well as staff and student absence rates, have fallen in the past three weeks, allowing them to make masks optional.

The district says no other changes are being made to safety measures and that face coverings are still required on district transportation like school buses, per federal law.

The district serves parts of Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, and Phoenix.

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Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.